Red Bull Rundown: Vickers, Kahne Earn Team Its Best Combined Finish in History

The Red Bull Racing due of Kahne and Vickers proved to be a powerful duo.
Credit: NASCARmedia
Red Bull Racing Team’s two-car tandem of Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne earned the organization their best-combined finish in the five-year history of the team.
Vickers and Kahne crossed the finish line in fifth and sixth on Sunday in the Good Sam Club 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Pack racing has become a thing of the past at superspeedways such as Talladega. The drivers seem to favor the two-car tandem when it comes to restrictor-plate racing. While this type of racing has been criticized by fans as being less entertaining than the pack racing of the past, it certainly seemed to work for partners Vickers and Kahne as they propelled themselves to the front of the 2.66-mile track.
Kahne started the race in 26th and Vickers in 30th. Within 10 laps of the drop of the green flag the pair pushed each other into the top five.
While they were able to stay out of trouble for much of the race, with just 59 laps remaining, Kahne took a chance and made his move for the lead by attempting to pass the pair of Robby Gordon and Trevor Bayne. Vickers tried to remain linked with the No. 4 Red Bull Toyota, but his No. 83 touched his teammate, which sent Kahne spinning on the frontstretch.
Kahne was able to keep the car straight and his No. 4 continued undamaged. He along with Vickers headed to pit road and restarted the race in the back of the pack, but were able to make it back into the top five within 17 laps.
Under the seventh caution the teammates made their final pit stop and restarted the race toward the back of the field in 30th and 32nd. Within just eight laps of the restart they once again were able to effectively use the two-car tandem and soon found themselves as the third tandem from the front of the field.
With just seven laps remaining in the race, a five-car accident in turn two brought out the ninth and final caution of the day setting up a green-white-checkered finish. Vickers and Kahne restarted the race third and fourth, but were unable to overcome the pair comprised of Clint Bowyer and Jeff Burton who crossed the finish line first. Dave Blaney and Brad Keselowski were next followed by Vickers and Kahne.
“It was a long day,” said Vickers who earned his third top-five of the season and fourth at the track. “This racing is nerve-wracking. It takes about two hours to go to sleep after this because your mind is going 100 miles-per-hour.”
His first Cup series win and only win at Talladega came in 2006, but not without some drama. At the time, Vickers was driving in his final season for Hendrick and in attempting to bump-draft teammate Jimmie Johnson to the front; he caused Johnson to spin which then collected Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the process.
Since then, Vickers has earned only one other win and that was at Michigan in 2009. Vickers now looks to close out the season with Red Bull on a high note. “The Red Bull Camrys did a great job working together today,” said Vickers. “Kasey (Kahne) and I — whether he was in the lead or I was in the lead — we had to go to the back four or five times, but we always got back to the front.”
Kahne earned his fifth consecutive finish of sixth or higher and his 13th top-10 of the season, a definite accomplishment for the driver who is now in the eight year of his career and is heading into his final races with Red Bull Racing before heading to Hendrick next season.
“We worked well all day with Brian,” said Kahne. “Great communication between both Red Bull teams. Once we got together we could work our way up front.”
Kahne moved up a spot into 14th in the driver standings – the highest possible position for a non-Chase driver. Vickers once again remains in 25th.
With just four races left until the end of the 2011 season, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Martinsville this weekend where the Red Bull Racing Team has a combined four top-10s and one top-five.
“This team continues to work hard, and we have been so close the last few weekends,” said Kahne following Sunday’s race at Talladega. “Just needed a little more for one of us to win, but this momentum is good for us and for the entire Red Bull organization.”
Red Bull Rundown: Vickers, Kahne Earn Team Its Best Combined Finish in History Red Bull Rundown: Vickers, Kahne Earn Team Its Best Combined Finish in History Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, October 24, 2011 Rating: 5